Having doing food reviewers for almost 9 years or so, I’ve noticed that as our expectations for food increase, the quality of food offered by the various F&B outlets in Singapore has also risen. And as our society became more affluent, we aren’t just flocking to an eatery or restaurant for their most reviewed dishes but we also expecting good service and cosy ambience. A lot of these external factors have come to play.
For most of us, we expect the buffets to be affordable and the food variety, to be wide enough to cater to all kinds of palates. The buffet spread must include expensive seafood like lobsters, crabs and prawns to make every single cent worth. And having been to many buffet restaurants, I was able to make comparisons and determine what are some of the must-haves in the buffet to draw the crowds. The recent buffet line I’ve been too, at Food Exchange @ Novotel Singapore on Stevens was an enjoyable one. I had a really good impression of their Weekday Festive buffet.
I’ve pretty high standards for buffet and Food Exchange’s Weekend Festive Dinner buffet did not disappoint me at all. Why?
1. It has a spacious dining area with many communal tables
Some of the buffet restaurants I’ve been to have limited space. There isn’t much space to move freely about without having to elbow other diners. But over at Food Exchange, the buffet line is segregated from the seating area. There is ample space for diners to move about and the buffet line is not too far away from the seating area too. Everything seems within reach.
You may even choose to dine al-fresco by the pool if you want some fresh air. The swimming pool is located just right outside the buffet restaurant.
2. There are Chefs on standby to prepare dishes on the spot
Some of the dishes like the Laksa and pasta are prepared à la minute so that diners can enjoy hot food. The chefs are stationed just right by the buffet counter to help you prepare the hot dishes on the spot. If you need help at the Carving station, they are there to help you carve out a slice of Turkey or ham. By the way, their Christmas traditional roast turkey, satay roasted turkey, roasted ribeye, honey studded gammon ham tasted superb.
Pasta Action Station
Carving Station (Part of the Weekday Festive Buffet specials)
3. There was a seafood galore.
What’s a festive buffet without fresh seafood? The cost per pax for this particular Weekday Festive Dinner Buffet is slightly above average because of the abundance of fresh seafood. There are oysters, clams and crab legs to feast on.
4. They kept our food heritage alive.
Most of the hotel buffets I’ve been to feature several local delicacies like Laksa, Char Kuay Teow and Nasi Lemak. I’m glad that I could find dishes like Satay, Laksa and Nyonya Kuehs. Under the drinks section, they even offer a local drink called Bandung, a sweet rose-syrup flavoured milk drink. Yes, it is in bright pink! And don’t forget to try their Teh Tarik gelato too!
Drinks section (Featuring Bandung)
5. They feature popular Asian cuisines.
I’m a huge fan of both Indian and Japanese food. I’m overall very pleased with the Indian curries, naans as well as the Japanese Sashimis. It is a common norm to see locals piling their plate with slices of Japanese sashimis as well as seafood. That’s because such dishes are quite costly in Singapore.
6. Good salad mixes featuring quality greens for the health-conscious.
Fresh arugula and baby spinach are not as affordable as vegetables like cabbage and lettuce. I’m glad that they featured ready-mixed salads containing quality root vegetables like beetroot and sweet potatoes. They have various types of salad sauces to go with and I’m pretty sure that their salad bar will excite any health-conscious individuals or salad lovers.
7. They’ve got two huge coffee machines!
This high-end coffee machine churns out good freshly-brewed coffee in less than a minute. They placed one machine at the drinks section and the other near the dessert booth.
8. If you are not into sweet cakes or tarts, you can have cheese and fruits for desserts.
I am not into cakes and tarts (unless they are exceptionally good) so I usually skip the cakes and go for some fresh fruits. But if you are into sweet treats, expect a tableful of festive Christmas desserts like log cakes and bread puddings.
Festive Log Cakes
For me, I rather have some cheese and crackers over a glass of wine. Thankfully, they do serve cheese which is kept in the refrigerator. You can enjoy some blue cheese or brie with fruits and crackers.
Cheese and Fruits
Lastly, my favourites are…
The outstanding dishes in the buffet line are definitely the Christmas roasted Turkey, honey baked ham and roasted ribeye. The meats at the carving station are exceptionally good and they tasted even better with the raspberry jam and apple sauce.
Other than the food, what I truly enjoy about this buffet is how they present each dish. All the dishes are clearly labelled and neatly presented. Hot dishes are kept warm and cold dishes are kept fresh longer with ice. These are all the little details which are pertinent to keep the food fresh and tasty but they are often overlooked by some buffet restaurants.
Looking for a buffet restaurant to enjoy a great feast? Food Exchange can be in your list of buffet restaurants to check out.
Festive Buffet @ Food Exchange
Period: 15 November – 30 December 2019
Early Bird Promotion: 20% off festive buffet lunch/dinner for reservations paid before 20 December 2019
Group Promotion: 25% off festive buffet lunch/dinner with a minimum of 25 guests
For more promotional details, do check out their website.